What is global competency and why does it matter?

What is global competency and why does it matter?

We seek to educate graduates who are prepared to analyze complex global challenges, to collaborate respectfully and effectively with people from diverse backgrounds, and to take responsible local action after due consideration of contemporary global contexts.

This requires that our students are equipped with the knowledge, skills and attitudes that enable them to bring judgment and action to a rapidly changing and interconnected world.

Global competency begins with curiosity—curiosity about other cultures, histories, politics, geographies and faith. It implies an openness to discovering cultural differences and a willingness to risk and move outside one’s comfort zone in the process. It requires the ability to understand prevailing world conditions, problems, opportunities, and trends through an interdisciplinary lens in order to understand issues in their surprising complexity.

Global competency demands effective communication skills— both linguistic and intercultural—in order to engage in open, appropriate, and effective interactions with people from different backgrounds. It equips individuals to move from learning about the world to making a difference in it. They are ready to make decisions, take action, and contribute positively to their communities in ways that are purposeful, ethical, and built on integrity.

Universities are measured by the global nature of the problems and opportunities their students are prepared to address. These issues transcend national borders.

This is a lifelong process— there is no one point at which an individual becomes globally competent—which brings us back to that foundational trait: curiosity. In fact, we hope that our students’ curiosity is never satisfied, but continues to grow as their competency grows.


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